Do you have old game consoles, cell phones, or other used devices laying around your house collecting dust? Why not cash in on your used tech and get some much-needed rewards in return? 

Everywhere you look, whether at brick and mortar stores or online, there are loads of programs that promise to give you the best value for your old stuff. So, how do you choose? Your best bet is to do your research. 

Let’s take a deep dive into one option you may not have considered, the GameStop trade-in program, to see how it stacks up to GadgetGone and other popular trade-in options.



How Does GameStop Trade-in Work?
      Can You Trade in Broken Consoles at GameStop?
      Start Your Trade-in Online, Finish In-store
      How Does GameStop Pay?
GameStop Trade-In Values
      GameStop Trade-In Deals and Bonuses
Pros and Cons: GameStop Trade-In vs. GadgetGone

How Does GameStop Trade-in Work?

As you can probably guess, trading in with GameStop is a gamer’s dream. The company accepts an impressively wide variety of gaming items, including:

   Current generation and retro games
   New and retro gaming consoles
   Controllers, headsets, and other accessories

And you don’t need to be a gamer to use GameStop’s trade-in program. In fact, the company also accepts an array of other consumer electronics including iPhones, Android phones, smartwatches, iPads and other tablets, and MP4 players. 


Trade in your game console at GameStop or GadgetGone.
Trade in your game console at GameStop or GadgetGone.


Can You Trade in Broken Consoles at GameStop? 

That depends. During our research, we noticed that although you are able to choose “damaged” or “dead” as a condition category for smartphones and other consumer electronics, those options are missing for games, consoles, and accessories. Unfortunately, whether that means broken consoles are actually accepted or not, we aren’t entirely sure. 

According to its website, GameStop will accept Per GameStop trade-in policy, “Trades must be in full working condition to receive full value. Hardware must have all necessary components for trade.” So, while GameStop might accept your damaged game consoles or consumer electronics, you certainly won’t receive the buyback price indicated online. 

Furthermore, each trade-in is subject to a manager’s approval. So, GameStop could opt to not purchase your items if they aren’t in great condition, or if they already have enough of whatever it is you’re trading in-stock and have no need for further inventory.


Start Your Trade-in Online, Finish In-store

Once you’ve decided which items you’d like to get rid of, the simplest way to get started with your buyback is by checking your device’s trade-in value with the GameStop trade-in calculator either on the company’s website or the GameStop app. 

As with other trade-in programs, you’ll need to locate the device you wish to trade in on GameStop’s website. If trading in a phone, tablet, smartwatch, or other accepted non-gaming device, you will also need to indicate your item’s condition category (either working, damaged, or dead). 

Unfortunately, in our own experiences with GameStop’s trade-in calculator, we sometimes struggled to locate the device we wished to trade in on their list of accepted items. We also noticed that while retro game consoles and corresponding accessories are apparently accepted, they (along with many other non-retro devices) don’t actually show up as accepted items when trying to get their trade-in value. In short, the whole experience was quite frustrating and left us wondering whether the trade-in values we were seeing online were even accurate. 


Trade in in-store at GameStop.
Trade in in-store at GameStop. | “GameStop三季度虧損近5億美元 實體游戲業快不行了?” by steamXO is marked with CC PDM 1.0


Of course, it’s possible that you are still able to trade these items in if you go directly to a GameStop location. However, you also have no way of knowing how much you might be offered beforehand, which is a lot of uncertainty that we’d rather not deal with. GadgetGone, in contrast, also accepts retro game consoles and provides and quick and easy online quote. 

Keep in mind that, as with other estimated trade-in prices, the quote provided online is subject to change once your device is evaluated by the store associate. It’s also important to note that unlike some other trade-in options, your quoted trade-in value is only valid until the close of business that same day, so be sure to plan accordingly. In contrast, GadgetGone will price-lock your offer for 14 days, giving you plenty of time to comparison shop and prepare your device. 

If you like GameStop’s initial trade-in offer for your iPhone, Xbox One, PS4, or whatever else you’re trading in, you’ll next need to make your way to your closest GameStop location (and be sure to bring your Saved Trade Summary with you). That’s right, unlike most other trade-in programs, all trades must occur in person at a GameStop location. Once there, your item will be assessed by a store associate to confirm its functionality and cosmetic condition before giving you your final trade-in value offer. 

To ensure a seamless trade-in, be sure to prepare your device accordingly before taking it into GameStop. Make sure the battery is charged, delete any sensitive information, back up your stored data, remove any SIM or memory cards, and gather up any necessary cords, chargers, or necessary accessories. And for phones, smartwatches, and tablets, double-check that the item is unpaired from your other active devices and any accounts before restoring it to factory settings. 


GameStop Trade In
GameStop gives store credit for all trade-ins.


How Does GameStop Pay?

Ok, let’s get down to brass tacks. No one wants to trade in their old items for pennies. More than likely, you’re looking for the perfect blend of high trade-in prices and payouts that you can actually use. We’re talking cash or, at the very least, store credit that isn’t going to go to waste 

At GameStop, trade-in payouts are typically in-store credit only. This is great news for those looking to expand their game library or trade up to the newest console. For non-gamers, however, probably not so much. 

Luckily, there is a glimmer of hope. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, GameStop did offer cash for their trade-ins as well. And according to its website, they may still offer cash for select items. In fact, we found cash prices still listed alongside store credit trade-in values, although the cash offers were always considerably less than those for store credit. Regardless, you’re basically at the mercy of your local GameStop when it comes to payouts. With any luck, cash payments will return whenever the world returns to normal. 


GameStop iPhone 11 trade in value

GameStop Trade-In Values

As with other device buyback programs, GameStop trade-in prices vary based on the item you’re trading in and the condition it’s in. For our comparison, we specifically decided to look at some of the most popular devices to trade in right now: the Xbox One, PS4, and iPhone 11. Although cash trade-in prices are provided on GameStop’s trade-in calculator, we opted to only show the values for store credit since cash payouts are only provided in certain instances. 

Remember that the following prices are only an estimate. Your device’s trade-in value will vary based on its specifications, cosmetic condition, and overall functionality. 

Xbox One – 500GB, with controller, good condition
GameStop: $75 (credit)
GadgetGone: $51 (cash)
Best Buy: $40 (credit)
PlayStation 4 Slim – 1TB, with controller, good condition
GameStop: $140 (credit)
GadgetGone: $105 (cash)
Best Buy: $80 (credit)
iPhone 11 – 256GB, Verizon, good condition
GameStop: $350 (credit)
GadgetGone: $405 (cash)
AT&T: $295 (credit)
T-Mobile: $285 (credit)
Verizon: $301 (credit)
Apple: $340 (credit)
Best Buy: $390 (credit)
ecoATM: Up to $210 (cash)

As you can see, although GameStop has some decent trade-in values (in store credit) for game consoles, they can’t really compete with what is offered by GadgetGone when it comes to consumer electronics. Plus, while store credit is great if you’re planning on buying more games, a new console, or a replacement controller, it definitely won’t help you if you need to buy a new iPhone or just need the cash. 


GameStop Trade-In Deals and Bonuses

As we’ve already established, winning payouts are often the deciding factor when choosing which trade-in program to use. Promos can go a long way in maximizing those trade-in earnings, turning formerly middling buyback values into a pretty good deal.

GameStop helps customers maximize their payouts in a couple of ways. Frequent trade-in customers, or those trading in an especially expensive item, might consider signing up for the Power Up Rewards Pro membership. For only $19.99 for the year, Pro members receive a ton of great benefits including 10% more trade-in credit. 

Others might rather keep an eye out for occasional trade-in promotions on GameStop’s social media channels. However, these deals generally only apply when the payment method is store credit and often require a specific item to be traded-in. 


GameStop phone trade in
How does GameStop’s trade-in program stack up to GadgetGone?


Pros and Cons: GameStop Trade-In vs. GadgetGone

As far as trade-ins go for various devices, the many different programs out there vary widely in terms of value and ease. A trade-in program might be the top choice for some but not even make the list of options for others. 

For some – gamers, in particular – GameStop’s trade-in program could be a great option, especially for frequent store customers. For others? Probably not so much. So, let’s take a look at how GameStop stacks up to what we have to offer at GadgetGone, one of the most popular online trade-in companies.

GameStop Pros: GameStop Cons:
A decent variety of current and retro game consoles, games, accessories, and other consumer electronics are accepted Trade-in calculator can be frustrating to use due to many missing items and pricing that is unclear at times
In-store trade-in process means same-day payouts Must trade in the same day you get your quote online
Good trade-in values for gaming items Poor trade-in values for consumer electronics
Rewards program members receive 10% more trade-in value Trade-ins are only accepted in-store, adding on extra time and hassle
In-store credit great for gamers and frequent GameStop shoppers Store credit not desireable for non-gamers or infrequent customers
Cash payouts aren’t given across the board
Trades aren’t guaranteed and require manager approval, meaning time can easily be wasted if you go into a store and your trade-in isn’t accepted
Trade-in values aren’t given for damaged or broken game consoles or accessories online and may not be accepted in-store for trade-in


In contrast, from the time you get your quote online to the time you get paid, GadgetGone’s process is much more streamlined and customer friendly. 

GadgetGone Pros: GadgetGone Cons:
Fully online trade-in process saves time and effort Can’t trade-in or get paid that same day
Shipping your device is free Doesn’t accept games for trade-in
Accepts damaged and broken items across the board No rewards program or trade-in promos
Wide array of smartphones, iPads, MacBooks, smartwatches, and both current and retro game consoles and handhelds are accepted Game console payouts aren’t quite as high as GameStop’s (but they are in cash)
PayPal, Amazon e-gift card, or mailed check payouts means actual money, not store credit

Payouts are some of the best in the business for consumer electronics and are competitive for game consoles
Trade-in estimates are price-locked for 14 days
Will price match offers from competitors
Trade-ins are guaranteed (pending customer acceptance of final offer)

No matter what option you end up selecting, don’t sleep on your old items! Clean out those drawers and closets, blow off that dust, and get some much-needed value out of your old stuff.


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